So, I have officially called Antibes, France home for one whole month. There isn’t really anything special to celebrate the anniversary, other than the realization both that (1) it’s been a WHOLE month and (2) its ONLY been a whole month. The time has both flown and meandered. My semester is already 1/4th of the way over and I feel as though I’ve lived here for so much longer.
In this past month, I have seen 5 rainy days here in Antibes total… and 3 of them have been consecutive up to today. Needless to say, the ocean is equally beautiful calm as it is green, stormy, and covered in sea foam. It is in the high 40’s today, but I’m so used to the mild coast that I am freezing… I must be getting soft.
The past week has seen me explore some of France without my program for the first time and also spend a lot of my time planning my spring break. As for this past weekend, my roommates Julie, Natalie, and I escaped to the lovely city of Lyon. We arrived around lunchtime by train on Friday and left around dinner time on Sunday. During the 3 days, we stayed in an adorable AirBnB apartment with a view of the city’s Basilisque on the only hill in the city. Our travels included a WWII museum, a Lyon history museum, a Sunday market, a huge, indoor market, the Basilisque, the Roman ruins, some lovely pedestrian shopping streets, several “town centre”-esque areas, and some awesome eating experiences.
It turns out, pralines are a specialty in Lyon, and not the chocolate cookie type. In every bakery, you can find brioche, tarts, croissants, pastries and more studded with these candied almonds. They bake pink, so the look is incredibly distinctive, and the taste is delicious. It’s hard not to stop in and spend a couple euro at every bakery you pass. Lyon is also known for a dish called “quenelle.” Looked up on Wikipedia, quenelle is described as a dumpling made with creamed fish and bread crumbs. The quenelle I had was made with swordfish and served in a lobster sauce with rice on the side. The dish was incredibly rich and very filling as well- definitely worth ordering. One cool thing about restaurants in France is a heavy presence of “menus.” Now, of course every restaurant has a menu, but higher-quality restaurants in the States, and most restaurants of French cuisine in France, have mini-menus within their main menu where you pay a set price and get an appetizer, entree, and dessert. The more expensive the menu, the pricier and nicer your options for each course. Also, it is amazingly common to have dessert with your meal here. My roommates and I have made it a habit of each ordering a different, new dessert when we eat out together and then splitting them 3 ways and trading plates so we get to try them all. I have yet to eat a dessert that did not make me wish for more.
The weekend trip was an incredibly tiring, but unforgettable experience, and I am so glad that I have found people to travel with who have my same interests at heart. I believe my next big trip will actually be spring break in 2 weeks. The planning is heavily underway for a while now and I think it will be a very cool experience as well.
If I have any international friends reading, if you buy the carte jeune online, get the actual card before trying to use the discount on any train! They will charge you the difference between your discount and the full price if you don’t have the physical card with you.
Well, that’s about it… Hopefully the weather will clear up soon. Classes are going well and I hope I never get used to the fact that I’m living here in France. Way too blessed, but thankful all the more! God bless, y’all! 🙂